October 12 2009 02:23PM
Rather than continuing to dwell on what the recall of Taylor Chorney means for the Oilers, I've decided to look for positives. Fortunately for me, the Oilers have a pair of them in junior hockey right now: Jordan Eberle and Philippe Cornet.
We'll start with Eberle.
Eberle's only played five games with the Regina Pats so far this year, but he's been dominant offensively, scoring seven goals and adding five assists to go along with a plus four rating. Eberle managed a hat-trick on October 7th, with all of those goals coming on special teams: two on the powerplay, one short-handed. Oddly enough, he has yet to score at even-strength at all, with three powerplay goals on the season and two short-handed goals. It's going to be interesting to see if Eberle can keep up the pace, and fun to watch him at this years World Juniors.
The other positive is the play of Philippe Cornet, who has played 12 games and currently sits second in the entire QMJHL in both goals (10) and points (19). Cornet is eligible for the Canadian WJC team this year but needs to prove that he belongs there, and so far it looks like he's doing that. Half of his goals have come with the man advantage; this isn't terribly surprising as he scored fifteen goals on the power play last year, along with two short-handed goals. His shooting percentage has jumped (probably unsustainably) from the 12% - 15% range up to 20%. The only negative right now is Cornet's woeful faceoff record - just 23.1% on thirteen draws.
Other prospects (Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Teemu Hartikainen, and Toni Rajala have all had strong starts) have played well, but so far the Oilers must be ecstatic with the production of these two.